Friday, January 18, 2008

African Film: Sisters in Law

“If I don’t leave him, he will kill me” says one woman in this documentary, with a quiet but firm determination.

Those of us who braved the cold and the rain to venture to the London Buddhist Centre on Saturday night were treated to this very powerful and moving film about women judges in Cameroon who are ringing the changes in their own community.

In another scene, the same woman is told by the men in her family to go back to her husband and reconcile with him. “Soften your heart’, one man keeps repeating. “If I had known what the family meeting was about”, she says later, “I would not have gone.”

These women are so quiet, so passive, so beaten down. Literally. Some of them have been battered and sexually assaulted by their husbands over and over again, for years. Where do they find the strength to stand up for themselves?

The strength and courage of the women judges and lawyers comes as a surprise in contrast to the quiet endurance of their women clients and witnesses. It is clear that the men think they have the right to assault and abuse women, and believe they will get away with it because they always have. “You have skipped a century”, one judge says. “In this century, we respect women’s rights.”

When a conviction is secured for spousal abuse, for the first time in 17 years in Cameroon, the prosecutor declares, “Who would have thought it would have come from Muslim women!”.

I urge you to add the film Sisters in Law to your collection. Click here to buy it on Amazon.

For more information about Black people’s events at the London Buddhist Centre,
click here.

My Blog Tour

I am conducting a blog tour to promote my book Black Success Stories.

Would you be interested in interviewing me in your blog? I am happy to answer up to three questions. I am also happy to send you copies of my free More Black Success eBooks to give away from your site.

And if you are an Amazon associate, I can personalise the eBooks with your affiliate link. So send me the link to your sales pages for my books if you would like to take advantage of this.

In addition to helping to publicise my book, this will also add content to your blog, so it's a win/win.

I am pleased to announce the first two interviews in my blog tour. You can read them at:

Please contact me privately if you would like to interview me for your blog.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Black Wall Street

I am all in favour of Black people taking responsibility for our own development and progress. This is one reason why I publish Black Success Stories.

I also understand the importance of being historically accurate.

The next time someone says Black people need to deal with our own issues and stop blaming white people, tell them about the Black Wall Street.

"The best description of Black Wall Street, or Little Africa as it was also known, would be liken it to a mini-Beverly Hills. It was the golden door of the Black community during the early 1900s, and it proved that African Americans had successful infrastructure. That's what Black Wall Street was all about.

The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community. Now in 1995, a dollar leaves the Black community in 15 minutes. As far as resources, there were Ph.D.s residing in Little Africa, Black attorneys and doctors. One doctor was Dr. Berry who owned the bus system. His average income was $500 a day, a hefty pocket change in 1910. "
Like many African American communities, it prospered and thrived until destroyed by white people in riots which burned it down, displacing thousands of people.

This is just one of the
African Heritage Resources on my Nurture Success site.

Knowledge is power.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy MLK Day, Everybody!

Happy MLK Day, everybody.

Just the fact that we have had to fight for this great leader’s birthday to be recognised as a national holiday is enough to tell us how significant his contribution was. My Mom was part of the campaign to make it a State holiday in Hawaii – because there was resistance even after it had become a national holiday.

I remember the late author Toni Cade Bambara saying once, ‘My grandfather can walk on the sidewalk’. Not that big a deal for those of us who take this right for granted. But I am old enough to be able to remember the days when, in some parts of the country, if white folks told you not to walk on the sidewalk, you didn’t risk it. Not because of what they might do to you. But because they could come after your whole family.

Voting – well, I would argue that voting has not made a lot of difference for us. After all, the man who has been in the White House for the past seven years wasn’t even elected. Seems like the same old story to me.

But it’s easy for me to say that. I can vote for whomever I choose and then argue about whether or not it matters. I could, if I wanted to, sit down at a McDonald’s or any other fast food joint and eat my lunch. I can remember a time when it was illegal to do that in lots of places south of the Mason Dixon line. People were being arrested for even trying. And I am not that old.

In the present climate, perhaps it requires an act of imagination to remember the extraordinary courage with which one man stood up against the authorities and societal conventions of his time, and inspired thousands of others to stand up with him and march behind him. Without blaming, without name-calling, without anger and recriminations, and with peace in his heart. He knew that a better future for African Americans would mean a better future for everyone.

And yes, we still have a long way to go. I’ve just seen this very interesting blog:
Middle Class Dream Eludes African-Americans

Katrina woke up a lot of folks to the reality of poverty and deprivation that is life for many African American people. Still. In this day and age. In what is still one of the most powerful and prosperous nations on the planet. Shame. Deep, deep shame.

Who will be our next leader? I’ve been hearing people ask this question for at least 30 years now. And my answer is always the same – look in the mirror. We cannot wait for another leader to come along and do it for us. We must do for ourselves and each other.

On this day, we celebrate the life of one man who helped put us in the position we can contemplate, discuss, plan and organise the next step. That next step us up to us.